Heli_explosion1

Console:  PlayStation 4

Pros

* The entire open world and explosive action looks great

* Physics are a blast to experiment with

* Plenty of content that will make previous fans of series happy

Cons

* Controls can be a tad problematic at times

* Loading screens can be annoying

—————-

Where do I begin?  Do I start out by saying that I have never really been too much into the Just Cause series?  Sure I have always welcomed many different open world games and greatly appreciated the over-the-top action that this franchise has always been known for, but the Just Cause series just never roped me in.

I really hate to compare games but when it comes to open world titles I have a huge appreciation for Grand Theft Auto and the living world that it creates.  I often say that no other open world game manages to create an environment that feels quite as lived in as the GTA series.  There are many different arguments to take here and in my defense I do understand that Rockstar manages to place most of it’s focus on bringing a world to life and the story behind the characters while other game developers choose to place their energy in other areas.  I’m saying all of because fair or not when I sit down to play a sandbox game I am always tend to think “I could be playing Grand Theft Auto!”  Again I know this is unfair and I make every attempt to judge titles on their own merit, but I do see games like Call of Duty, GTA, Halo and many of the other flagship titles as sort of a “new standard”.  I also feel that if developers completely ignore the strengths of those titles and choose not to build off of them we will end up with more and more franchises that never gain the amount of recognition they truly deserve.

Is this a rant or a review?  Stay with me here.  I am saying all of this because as an “open world” game I have always felt that the Just Cause world feels very lifeless.  Sure they are people walking around and animals on the countryside, but something about all of this tends to feel off to me.  Is this important?  Perhaps it isn’t…  But this is truly my only major complaint and this just so happens to be something that I always look at with titles of this nature.  While Just Cause 3 didn’t manage to impress me with it “Living World”, there is no doubt that this is a terrific “Sandbox” that offers plenty of excitement and areas to explore.

I only mention the above because this is a direction I would love to see the series progress towards.  Providing a greater living experience would bring this title to a whole new level and perhaps introduce a wealth of fresh players to the franchise.  But enough of what this game doesn’t do… let’s get to the good stuff!

Presentation:   A

This game is an absolute beauty!  The explosions (and there is a lot of them) are some of the best the PS4 has to offer.  The colors are vibrant and the highly detailed islands are a sight to see.  There will also be no shortage of opportunities to take in the breath taking scenery since verticality is such a major factor in this entry.

01.jpg  There is a lot of water to be seen which isn’t bad at all considering how well the ocean is animated and how enjoyable it is to explore and navigate.

I have came across a lot of negative comments regarding the game’s performance, but I have to be honest and say that I hardly noticed any hiccups during my play through and the only moments of frustration came at the hands of frequent load screens.  This isn’t quite as bad as some other titles I have came across, but they still tend to rear their head fairly often and overstay their welcome at times.

Single Player:  A

Just Cause 3 brings with it an absolute wealth of outstanding moments that you will be hard pressed to not continually spam the share button on your controller.  With more capabilities than ever before, I found myself having to hold back as I kept calling my wife in the room to see what I just pulled off a few seconds before.

This entry features mostly the same objectives as in the past, like liberating cities, taking down enemies, destroying vehicles and the various other tasks you are used to doing, but you are definitely completing these tasks with style.  The biggest addition to the series is the wingsuit that is pictured above and provides an excellent way to soar the sky and sightsee for extended periods of time.  While it doesn’t quite keep you in the air as long as the parachute, you are free to switch back and forth to use each of these as you see fit.  I found between the grappling hook, parachute and the wingsuit I could pretty much get anywhere that I set my sights on and always seemed to give me a huge advantage in gunfights.

Tethering is back but this time around you can unlock up to 6 tethers and hook three objects together bringing plenty of room to experiment and laugh your butt off.  Aside from exploring the landscape this is by far my favorite part of the game.  With everything being physic based, it is a joy to attach your grappling hook to an enemy and experiment with what latching him on to anything you can find and see what happens.

06.jpg

Yes there is a mission structure and quite a few objectives, but with toys like this you will find yourself frequently taking detours or lingering in areas to experiment and find new ways of torturing your enemies.

While I mentioned the ability to upgrade the amount of tethers, I didn’t touch yet on the fact that an entire upgrade system is in place for your arsenal of toys.  By liberating towns and bases you will unlock challenges that in turn will provide you with gears when completed.  You can apply these gears towards certain mods that do things like add nitrous to vehicles, increase tether strength, or even add air brakes to your wing suit.

If that isn’t enough you will unlock many different weapons and vehicles that can used in air drops to provide you with instant transportation or firepower given you have an airdrop available to you.  I really feel like the developers knew exactly what makes Just Cause tick and what the fans need to have an absolute blast.

Multiplayer: N/A

Just Cause 3 doesn’t have a proper Multiplayer mode, but does put a lot of focus on stats between you and your friends.  I couldn’t help but enjoy seeing my name gain a higher position on the leaderboards after I did a long free fall, or blew up a group of enemies, or even grapple a long distance.  The best part is all of these stats are recorded separately so no matter what you are good at it’s very likely you will see your name appear on screen at least a few times overtaking a few of your friends.

Replay Value: A

Do games like this one really end?  Of course not.  There is a ton to do and with all the toys, unlocks and landscape to explore you will stay busy for a really long time.  Even after you save the day you will enjoy just hoping in for a bit and causing mischief.  Why you may ask?  Just Cause!

 

Overall: A+

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